Calder Foundation presents
Oh, you mean cellophane and all that crap
5 May 2012, 2pm – 2am
The McKittrick Hotel, home of Sleep No More,
542 W. 27th St., New York City
Kuh: Léger once called you a realist. How do you feel about this?
Calder: Yes, I think I am a realist.
Calder: Because I make what I see. It’s only the problem of seeing it. If you
can imagine a thing, conjure it up in space—then you can make it, and
tout de suite you’re a realist. The universe is real but you can’t see it.
You have to imagine it. Once you imagine it, you can be realistic
about reproducing it.
Kuh: So it’s not the obvious mechanized modern world you’re concerned
Calder: Oh, you mean cellophane and all that crap.
In his interview with Katherine Kuh from 1962, Calder recreates the term realist within his own practice: to envision a thought and “conjure” it into space. As Kuh moves to center the dialogue, Calder’s ultimate remark clarifies that the modern world and its materials alone were not as important as his aim to lead the viewer to understand a concept. Through the innovative, unconventional use of materials, industrial or otherwise, he conceived works that could activate their environment with unpredictable entities such as sound, movement, chance, and anticipation.
Immateriality and its transformation of space, so integral to Calder’s work, underscores the Calder Foundation’s Oh, you mean cellophane and all that crap. Embodying Calder’s equivocal sentiment through visual and performance art, music, film, and video, the 12-hour programming takes as its point of departure Calder’s 1940 sound-making mobile that conjures into space not a tangible representation of an object, but the disquieting experience of sound and anticipation. Provoking a similarly immersive experience will be works by contemporary artists and performers that swell beyond their material confines, activating the larger space around them with such phenomena as light, scent, sound, air, anticipation, and disorientation.
While the framework for the event has been set, and many of the artists have been confirmed, the production process echoes the content and invites collaborative conversation. Rather than fixed, the curating is open form and gives precedence to components of real-time experience such as chance and the unexpected.
Sculpture and installations by Cory Arcangel, Darren Bader, Alexander Calder, Nina Canell, Song Dong, Dan Flavin, Andrea Galvani, Kira Lynn Harris, Zilvinas Kempinas, Haroon Mirza, and James Turrell.
Film and video by Allora & Calzadilla, Francis Alÿs, Sebastian Buerkner, Mary Ellen Bute, Song Dong, Amy Granat, Laurent Grasso, Yves Klein, Duncan Marquiss, Laurent Montaron, Anri Sala, Roman Signer, and Alexandre Singh.
Performance by James Lee Byars (performed by Kristen Kos), Mayumi Ishino, Liz Magic Laser, Haroon Mirza & Hannah Sawtell, Aki Sasamoto, and Jacolby Satterwhite.
Music by The Dreebs, Dan Friel, Loud Objects, Ikue Mori & C. Spencer Yeh, Gryphon Rue, Sightings, and White Suns.
A Calder Foundation project curated by Katherine Cohn (visual and performance art), Victoria Brooks (film and video), Kevin Barry and Gryphon Rower-Upjohn (music).
Special thanks to The McKittrick Hotel, home of Sleep No More, www.sleepnomore.com.